090402 WIL baseball2

Joe Eberle/Staff Photographer Wilson, NY - Wilson senior, Andrew Jones, takes a swing in a recent game against North Tonawanda.

The future is now for Wilson Lakemen baseball. That’s because the past is something nobody wants to talk about.

“It’s just nice to back playing,” senior captain Andy Carroll said. “A lot of us missed it. We’re trying to stay positive with everything.”

Wilson’s season was canceled last spring in the wake of an alleged hazing incident that is still being played out in court. The Lakemen have moved on, though, under the direction of a new coach, Mark Kurtz.

“I don’t know a whole lot about these guys because I’ve never coached them before, but from what I’ve seen they all have great attitudes and they’re just great kids to be around,” the former Newfane coach said. “They’re anxious to learn, they’re picking things up fairly quickly and they’re always giving it their best. I can tell this group is going to improve a lot throughout the year. I have no complaints.”

Andy Jones, the team’s only other senior, said Kurtz has already helped the program immensely.

“Coach Kurtz knows a lot about the game and he’s taught us a ton,” Jones said.

The Lakemen will use a committee of pitchers this spring, including both Carroll and Jones. Junior Collin Okoniewski, sophomore Jordan Thilk and freshman Brad Schlosser will also be asked to give quality innings at different points of the season, Kurtz said.

Freshman Cameron Sidote will play catcher with Okoniewski and freshman Pat Diez to split time at first base. Junior Nate Meier will likely play second with Carroll and Thilk spliting the shortstop duties. Sophomore Jeff Robinson along with Thilk and Diez are in the mix at third base.

Sophomore Cody Reimers and Jones will play the outfield with sophomores Tyler Moore and Nick Serianni also in the mix. Diez and Robinson can also play the outfield.

“If we play clean ball, continue to focus on the basics and do all the little things right, we should be able to win our fair share of games,” Carroll said.

“If we minimize the mental errors and pick ourselves up after a bad play, we have a good chance of beating some of the top teams in the Niagara-Orleans League,” Jones added.

Contact reporter Nate Beutel at 282-2311, ext. 2262.


• COACH: Mark Kurtz

• KEY RETURNEES: Andy Carroll (Senior, P/SS), Andy Jones (Senior, P/OF)

• QUESTION: Can Wilson score enough runs to support its thin pitching staff?

• PROJECTION: The Lakemen will improve throughout the year with an eye on future success as a program.

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